10 Ways to be a Missionary at Work

Many people think missionaries are only those God calls to go overseas to tell others about Jesus.  Matthew 28:18-20 says, “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus says to GO.  Just GO.  Wherever you are working, God has placed you there as His ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20) and His missionary.  You are the gift He is giving each of the people you work with, so be a gift.  Here are some ways you can be intentional about loving people (and be Externally Focused) at work!

  1. Prayer Cards
    1. Get a stack of index cards and write each person’s name in your office (or the people you work most closely with) on a different card.
    2. On the back of the card write down the person’s spouse and children’s names, even pets’ names.  Write down anything you hear that they like (see #4 below).
    3. Pray for one person each day while you are getting ready to go to work (or keep the cards in your car, if that’s easier).
    4. When you are building a closer relationship with people and feel comfortable, sometime during the day ask that person, “How can I pray for you today?”  If it’s an appropriate time, you can even pray for that person right there or pray on your own. Be sure to follow up about that request the next time you see that person or the next time you pray for that person.
    5. You can leave sticky notes on their desk that say, “Prayed for you today.”  It’s encouraging to know you are being thought of and prayed for. It usually builds trust with those people, as well.
    6. If they ask you to stop asking about praying for them, respect their request, but keep praying anyway!  Who knows what He will do in their lives because of your faithful prayer and availability.
  2. Serving Challenge
    1. Use the prayer cards you made (or a map of your office/work space) and choose one person to serve each day.  
    2. The trick is to learn how people best receive love and service by getting to know them through spending time with them.  If someone rolls their eyes when you give them a note, try something different next time. You can use the 5 Love Languages to get ideas of how to serve people in ways they will respond well to.
      1. Words of Affirmation – write him a note of encouragement (anonymously), tell her something specific you appreciate about her, tell his supervisor something he is doing well (Hopefully being encouraging will catch on and others will start doing this as well.)
      2. Physical Touch – (be appropriate!) – If you are the same gender, place your hand on her shoulder and look her in the eye and tell her you appreciate her work and why.  If you are the opposite gender it is
        appropriate to pat someone on the back (near his shoulder) and say, “Great job with that project.”
      3. Quality Time – take him to lunch (go with another co-worker to keep it appropriate if you are a different gender), invite him and his wife to an event at church or to an afterwork hang out time (poker game, triathlon training, etc); if these activities aren’t happening at your church, start them!
      4. Receiving Gifts – find out his likes and gift them accordingly (often going in on a couple of gifts with someone else will keep things above reproach for those of the opposite gender); Birthdays, Christmas, and Just Because Days are all fun times to give gifts
      5. Acts of Service – do a small task to help that person out – mail her letters,
        take out his trash, make a space for that person at lunch, scrape off her
        windshield after a snowy day
  3. Story sharing lunch
    1. Make an intentional time to share your testimony with a co-worker and then open the door for them to share theirs or for you to present the Gospel to them and give them an invitation to follow Jesus with you!  Remember that no one can debate what God has done in your life. They can’t say what God has and hasn’t done, so it’s a powerful way to share the truth about Him with others.
    2. Here are some resources you can use to give yourself some training in how to share your testimony and how to present the Gospel:
      1. How to Share Your Testimony
        1. Creating Your Testimony
        2. Remember sharing your story is about what GOD has done in your life.  You don’t have to share all the awful things you’ve done for it to be powerful.  Who He is and what He has done is enough to change your life, and it’s enough to change another person’s life, as well!
        3. How to Present the Gospel (Good News about Jesus) clearly and simply
          1. Life in 6 Words
          2. The Bridge to Life
          3. Principles to Sharing the Good News
  4. Encouragement Notes
    1. Write a quick note of encouragement for anyone who looks like they could use a kind word.  
    2. You can get my favorite little business card sized notes called “Pass-It-On” cards at Lifeway Stores and at Amazon.com.  You can write a personal note on the back.  They are easy for people to keep in their wallet or hang up in a visible place to lift their spirits.
  5. Create a Likes List
    1. As you hear people talking about their favorites, write them down then you know what to get people that they will actually enjoy.  This a fun working list:
      1. Candy
      2. Color
      3. Favorite restaurants
      4. Shows and movies
      5. Music
      6. Coffee or tea
    2. Go in with another to give a surprise (or birthday or Christmas) gift to someone of the opposite gender to stay appropriate.
    3. You can even create a document to share with the entire office so people know what others enjoy and it will bless everyone!
  6. Secret Servants (like Secret Santa – you could also call it Hidden Helpers)
    1. Work with Human Resources to set up a 1-2 week program.  
    2. Start by writing everyone’s names on little slips of paper.  Have each person take a name and keep it secret.
    3. Do kind things for the person whose name you chose for the chosen period of time and then get together for a reveal party.
    4. Reveal Party
      1. Provide a special snack or have everyone bring something to share.
      2. One at a time have people guess who her secret servant was.  You’ll be surprised that many people will guess wrong because everyone will be serving each other!  It’s a cool relationship builder!
  7. Affirmation/Kudos bulletin board
    1. Work with Human Resources to create a Kudos board where people are caught doing things right or exceeding expectations.
    2. When someone is caught, write a note of recognition about them for everyone to read.
    3. Try to catch everyone in the office doing something great and then thank the entire office with a pizza party or ice cream sundae bar!
  8. Company Service Projects
    1. You can put together a service project for people to sign up for and participate in that shows Jesus love even if they don’t know they’re doing that!  It also builds community. You can do things like:
      1. a canned food collection for the Douglas/Elbert County Task Force
      2. a personal supplies collection for Women’s Crisis Center
      3. collect boxes for Operation Christmas Child
      4. collect wish list items for Children’s Hospital
    2. Ask your co-workers what community service projects they would be interested in to get some ownership.  You can also plan 2-3 a year if you get lots of ideas.
  9. Church Invitation
    1. Many people don’t attend church because they have never gotten a personal invitation.  Whenever your church is having a special service, Bible Study, or family activity, pray about who God wants you to ask to go with you.
    2. Grab a couple information cards from your church and have them on hand for when the opportunity arises for you to invite a co-worker to church.  It’s easier to invite if you have something to hand people with all the pertinent information on it and then you don’t have an excuse to not invite your co-workers to join you at church!  
    3. Talk to your spouse about inviting your co-worker and his family to lunch with you after church one Sunday and then invite him (mention the free lunch part for sure!).  Give him a couple date options and he’ll be more likely to join you!
  10. Bible Study during Lunch break – When you have built a relationship with another follower of Jesus (or 2 or 3), make the time to do a weekly (or monthly) Bible Study during a lunch break.  As people see you meeting together, they may start asking questions and you will have an open door to invite them to join you (and possibly to join you at church)!  There are great options of quick studies at www.bible.com and Lifeway you could do with a small group.